Oh how I loved that song
but why? I’ll never know.
I heard it first over an old brown radio
in Grandma’s tiny kitchen
and it captured my child’s heart.
I remember when
Dad hummed dreary hymns,
long before I knew anything of art.
An old man’s voice
humming unctuous sounding tunes
made gray Sunday afternoons
run twice as slow
as they did on week days.
Easter Bonnet brightened up the gloom,
enlarged the room
and made the darkness go away.
I’m not sure who sang it –
whether it was Judy Garland or Fred Astaire,
all I know I loved it like a love affair
and doted on it.
Trip to the AGO
Some time ago
I went with my sister
to the AGO – so many people there
a surreal twilight blue world
listening on headphones
to people supposedly in the know
explaining the mystic inspirations
of works by Claude Monet,
Vincent Van Gogh
and the other Impressionists.
But to me even “Starry Night”
seemed drained of color, wilted
like a flower uprooted from its native soil.
Once again the hype had let me down.
On the other hand, I did enjoy
local homegrown stuff
like the Group of Seven,
and some small Krieghoff pieces.
As I was leaving I saw
“The Indian Church” by Emily Carr“
and it seemed to say, “Hey look at me.
You’ll see. The grass isn’t always greener far away
on the other side of the Atlantic“.
I Love My Smartphone
has hijacked my mind.
When it rings and I can’t pick it up,
my blood pressure spikes
and my pulse quickens.
It causes my attention span
to plummet to levels
below that of a goldfish.
It like nicotine
increases my level
of dopamine that affects
parts of the brain
that control reward and pleasure.
I get the same chemical “hit”
that compels me to
get on my smartphone
and check my Yahoo mail every hour.
Tech companies work hard
to keep me addicted.
Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook
can waste up to five hours
of my precious life every day.
Some of this time
could have probably been better spent
reading the good old good book.
But then again
my capacity for that
is not what it used to be.
Rod Stone’s artistic statement: I want to thank the members of the Brooklin Poetry Society for helping me improve my craft. Reading widely in the poetic canon has also helped me develop a sense of taste in poetry. Some of my favourites are the French Symbolists, W.B. Yeats and great modern poets like Philip Larkin and Elizabeth Bishop. Reading and writing poetry has been one of the joys of my life because as Mallarmé said “beauty has only one perfect expression, Poetry”. You can visit me at www.rodspoetryblog.wordpress.com.